Investment promotion entity, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), says it is focused on attracting private capital into the energy sector to help address the shortfall in the production of electricity.
Mawuena Trebarh, Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, which co-ordinates investment activities in the country, said the Centre is focused on securing foreign investment in the power sector as businesses need reliable power to operate and be competitive in this environment.
Access to finance, high interest rates, inadequate access to information, and erratic power supply over the past two years are some of the challenges facing the sector.
Current projections indicate that the country’s requirements for electricity would hit 2,764.2MW in 2015. Total electricity demand is about 1,900 megawatts. However, poor rainfall and fuel challenges this year, has led to low power generation.
This has necessitated the shedding of load to maintain the integrity of the electricity grid. Household consumption is driving the country’s power demand, which is growing at an estimated 10 percent per annum.
Around 62 percent is consumed domestically — leaving very little for commercial and industrial use. Commercial consumption — which describes power consumed by small or micro-businesses — accounts for 18 percent. Industrial or large-scale consumption accounts for 20 percent of the total.
Businesses are hardest hit as the bulk of the power generated by power producers are consumed by households, a situation the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has said it doesn’t augur well for growth of small and medium scale enterprises.
For a country using under 2,000 megawatts of electricity currently, Ghana ought to be bringing on-stream 200 megawatts of new capacity every year. This additional capacity requires US$200million of investment.
A recent Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Afrobarometer survey, where 2,400 adult Ghanaians were interviewed from May 24 to June 10, 2014 found that most Ghanaians are dissatisfied with government’s delivery of public services such as electricity.
According to the survey, 75 percent of Ghanaians assessed government as having performed “very badly” or “fairly badly” in providing reliable electricity.
In the maintenance of roads and bridges, 68 percent of respondents said government has performed “very badly” or “fairly badly; providing water and sanitation services 66% percent; addressing educational needs 63 percent; and improving basic health services 61 percent.